Thursday, September 13, 2007

Recipe: Fish Tacos and Parmesan Corn

Alright, here's one of my favorite things to make. I remember the first time I had one. I was in Mexico back in the very early 90's in East Cape, the Southernmost tip of Mexico. What a revelation.

The version we made was quick, easy, delicious and it's a healthier recipe because we cooked the fillets on the skillet instead of deep frying them. This recipe would be for 2 people.

The more traditional recipe uses cabbage and a few other things we didn't have in the fridge this week.

Fish Taco:

-2 fish fillets. People usually use a white-fleshed fish, but I use Salmon sometimes and it still tastes great. This time, we used Mahi Mahi (Dorado). These fillets were close to being a foot long.
-3 limes
-Cornstarch(or rice flour). Cornstarch you say? It gives it just enough of a coating with the seasonings to give it some texture on the outside. I usually use sweet rice flour(Mochiko) to coat the fish, but I changed it up this time.
-Sea salt and pepper to taste
-1/4 cup fresh chopped Cilantro
-3 Tbs Mayonaise
-3 Tbs Plain Yogurt
-Olive oil
-2 tsp hot pepper sauce( I usually use Sriracha or Tapatio)
-4 Corn tortillas. Please note, a lot of times when you get fish tacos, the place will 'double up' your tortillas and you'll have 2 tortillas per fish taco. Why? Well, corn tortillas aren't very durable and they tend to rip and break easily even when heated up.

Place your fish fillets into a large container and marinate in the juice of 2 limes for 15-20 minutes. Remove from marinade and cut your fish into 1" strips as well as cutting the fillets into pieces long enough to fit into the corn tortillas. You don't want wider or longer strips of fish because it won't fit inside of your corn tortilla and everything will fall out or break the tortilla.

To make the sauce, place the mayo and yogurt into a bowl along with the cilantro, hot sauce and the juice of one lime. Mix together with a fork until everything is incorporated.

Heat skillet to med high temperature with a few teaspoons of Olive oil. While the skillet is heating up, combine the cornstarch(or rice flour) with sea salt and pepper. Don't go too crazy with the seasoning, just put enough. Dredge the fish in the cornstarch mixture and shake off any excess. When the oil and pan are hot, place the fish in the skillet. Cook through until a bit more than halfway done and flip the fish to finish the cooking on the other side.

In the meantime, you need to heat the tortillas up. We have a toaster oven, so you wrap the tortillas in tin foil and bake them for about 10 minutes at 350 to get them warm. If you don't have one, you can heat them up in a pan or whatever you have available. You just need to get them warm so that they're bendable. Cold corn tortillas break right away since they have no elasticity from lack of gluten.

When the fish is done, place the strips in onto your corn tortillas, spoon on some sauce and enjoy!

**We used the leftover salsa and guacamole from the other day when we made nachos.**

Parmesan rolled corn:

If you go to Farmers markets around the LA area, you'll often see grilled corn being sold by Mexican restaurants that are there. Very tasty.

Sweet corn is best used for this dish. The real version(not healthy) uses a bunch of butter to which you roll the hot corn into and then you cover that butter corn with cheesy goodness.

But, not in this one.

-2 ears of fresh, sweet corn
-Parmesan cheese--preferably the real kind--Parmigiano Reggiano, but whatever you can get.
-Sea salt and pepper to taste
-juice of 1 lime

Grate enough cheese onto a large plate to roll the corn in after it's done cooking. Season it with some sea salt and pepper. Heat up a pot with water until it boils. Carefully place your corn in and only cook for 2 minutes! If you have fresh corn, it only needs to be cooked for about 2 minutes. Don't ruin that corn by overcooking it. Carefully take the corn out, drain some of the water off of the corn and then roll into the cheese, making sure you try to cover every kernel with that cheese.

After that, plate and squeeze some lime juice, maybe some hot sauce and it'll be good to go!


P.S. I think this Parmesan corn would be best grilled. I think then the corn would be softer and there would be more gaps for the Parmesan to go in. I actually sprayed the corn with some olive oil to try and get the Parmesan to stick better.

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